I found myself in a 4 river challenge this spring. After a successful trip to the Neuse early on it became apparent I could possibly, for the first time, catch at least one striped bass on the Roanoke, the Tar, the Neuse and the Cape fear in one season.
I'd caught plenty of stripers on the Cape Fear and the Roanoke over the years, but before this spring I'd never caught one on the Neuse or the Tar, (I'd never even fished the Tar, much less land an anadromous striped bass there).
Things started on the Neuse when my brother suggested a trip there after reading shocking reports back a month or so ago. We took shad and fished with Carolina-rigs on the bottom and managed some nice fish. Almost everyone we went with that day caught fish, and though on the Neuse the fish were harder to come by, they were bigger.
I tried fishing the Neuse twice more after that trip, once more in the same location where I was blanked, and once near Andersen Point but only managed a day of catching catfish.
Next, I fished the Tar a couple weeks ago after shocking reports revealed some decent fish around Rocky Mount. I only caught one fish that day. I'd floated down a ways just after dawn throwing a top water lure but had no takers. I noticed a place where a creek ran into the river and anchored up not long after sunrise. On the first cast I hooked my first ever fish on the Tar; a keeper striped bass measuring almost 21".
This fish was not only the only striper I caught on the Tar river that day, I left and launched at the 258 bridge on the Roanoke later that afternoon, (as the bite totally died on the Tar) and never caught another fish. The parking lot was full but I didn't see anyone catch a fish or hear anyone say they caught a striped bass the entire time I was there. But I'd been on the Tar earlier and had a fish on ice, and after catching only slot fish on the Neuse, I at least finally had an ocean running striper in the freezer.
So then last weekend I hit a spot I've always had luck at on the Cape Fear. I can't be sure this was a true anadromous fish, but it's possible...Three rivers down...
Then, this week a buddy and I were talking about a trip to Weldon. But water levels were reported down, so I opted out when we spoke Wednesday afternoon. But luckily he decided to go, and thought of me when he started catching fish on every cast this Thursday morning. He was catching his fish in swift water on bucktails and had a great morning. I got the first text at about 7:00am and left the Raleigh area with bait around 8:00. I hoped the bite would still be on....
The rest of the report is here...https://adventurenaturewriting.com/2...and-cape-fear/